A fractional part of Pakistan

They never said it was an integral part

The Pakistani foreign office has declared that it never did claim that Kashmir was its integral part. That’s good to hear. But what exactly is Pakistan referring to?

Most likely, it is referring to the Kashmir valley and the portion of the erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state that is now administered by India. It also appears to be referring to what it calls Azad Kashmir, which as the name suggests and the reality denies (via The Glasshouse), is free of Pakistan. Azad may not be its integral part, but it might just well be its colony.

Pakistan could also be referring to the 5180 sq km of territory that it ceded to China as part of the boundary agreement it signed in 1963. That swathe of territory in the vicinity of the Karakorum pass is now integral part of the People’s Republic of China. The latest admission proves India’s contention that the ceding of territory was “illegal”. It is clear, though, that China won’t ask for a refund, preferring instead to keep the goods.

Pakistan, though, is certainly not referring to Gilgit, Hunza, Nagar, Baltistan and other areas that it calls Northern Areas. The Northern Areas are in a legal and constitutional limbo: its people have no political rights in Pakistan (not even what little the people in official provinces have in theory). The story of their repression by the Pakistani army is hardly ever told.

Tailpiece: “Kashmir”, the General had declared, “runs in our blood”. Whatever.

7 thoughts on “A fractional part of Pakistan”

  1. I am yet to check today’s Pak papers. I bet it will be quite amusing today to go thru Pak newspapers. The Hindu reported that the Pak journos walked out of the presser shaking their head in disbelief.

  2. Without quibbling about the integral / differential aspects, it does appear to signify a major shift in Pakistan’s stance. If this can be sold to the bulk majority of Pakistan, it will certainly be a step in the right direction.

    Following up to Mush’s telepacifism, this really is a PR blitz. Any ideas Nitin on what this is actually about? I am inclined to think this show is for Western audiences but have no clue what may be the immediate pressures working on the General.

    I have to say I really liked his NDTV interview, and but for the fact that he architected the Kargil op I would be inclined to believe him.


  3. Jai,

    Yes, it’s good to know that Pakistan does not have any claim over Kashmir. It’s also good to know that they never did. But remember, this is no real concession. It’s like me announcing that I renounce my claims over the Taj Mahal. That’s good to know, but it remains to be seen what it means in practice.

  4. Just a few days back, Mushy said that independence for Kashmir wasn’t acceptable to either India or Pakistan. So if they never claimed Kashmir, does that mean they accept it as Indian territory by default?

  5. They’ve probably reached a stage where they are saying, “we know we can’t have it. But we’ll make sure you can’t have it either”

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